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Historic shipwrecks, aircraft wrecks and relics

Key finding

Since 2012, 990 existing Queensland shipwreck entries were updated and 39 new Queensland shipwrecks entries, 52 new aircraft entries and 12 new relic entries were added to the Australian National Shipwreck Database.

All shipwrecks, aircraft wrecks and associated relics older than 75 years (from the time they were wrecked) are protected under either the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 (Commonwealth) or the Queensland Heritage Act 1992.

DES undertakes the Queensland Historic Shipwreck Survey to update existing records and discover new shipwrecks, aircraft and associated relics. Information regarding underwater cultural heritage (which includes shipwrecks, aircraft wrecks and relics) is entered in the Australian National Shipwreck Database (ANSDB).

About 1,100 historic shipwrecks are known to have been wrecked along the Queensland coastline. Since 2012, DES has updated 990 existing entries in the ANSDB for historic shipwrecks and added a further 39 entries for shipwrecks that were previously missing from the database.

The Queensland Heritage Act 1992 was amended in 2014 to protect submerged historic aircraft over 75 years old. Since 2011, DES has added 52 aircraft entries.

In 2013, a project was established to support heritage institutions enter their maritime relics for Queensland shipwrecks into the ANSDB. This has resulted in 12 relic entries being added.

Compared with the manual methods used in the 2015 State of the Environment report, DES has accessed ANSDB data extracts to review, update and provide more accurate reporting for the 2014-2017 period.

More information:

Indicator: Number of historic shipwrecks, aircraft wrecks and relics entries updated or added to Australian National Shipwreck Database

Accumulative number of historic shipwrecks and aircraft wrecks and relics entries updated or added to the Australian National Shipwreck Database for 2012-2017.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 10 May 2019